Having had the opportunity to experience the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+ SUV, I must say that it offers a spacious interior, surpassing that of the standard E-class sedan. As I embarked on my journey of test-driving this beautiful SUV, I was immediately struck by the exceptional quietness that enveloped the cabin. The hushed environment allowed for a peaceful and serene driving experience, enhanced by the comfortable ride. It is worth noting that the EQE sedan draws inspiration from its larger counterpart, the EQS, presenting itself as a downsized version. While undoubtedly luxurious, I must acknowledge that in comparison to its electric vehicle competitors, it falls short in certain areas, lacking the well-roundedness that some may desire.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE gracefully positions itself between Tesla's compact Model 3 and the mid-size Model S, offering a compelling alternative in the electric vehicle market. With an anticipated driving range exceeding 300 miles, the EQE demonstrates a commitment to long-distance travel without compromising on efficiency. Notably, the fast-charging capabilities of this electric marvel enable it to charge its battery from 10 to 80 percent in a mere half-hour, ensuring minimal downtime during road trips or daily commutes. Initially, the EQE lineup unveils the EQE350+ and EQE350 4Matic models, both equipped with a single motor and rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, respectively, generating 288 horsepower. However, the forthcoming EQE500, boasting dual motors and all-wheel drive, will further raise the performance bar with an impressive 402 horsepower. The EQE exemplifies Mercedes-Benz's dedication to providing a versatile and powerful electric driving experience.
Trims and Prices of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350
As the latest addition to the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the EQE positions itself as a more accessible option compared to the larger and more opulent EQS model. Expected to make its debut in U.S. showrooms towards the end of 2022, the EQE offers a range of trims and prices to suit various preferences and budgets.
The base model, EQE350+, comes with a price tag of $76,050. This entry-level trim provides an enticing package, boasting rear-wheel drive and a wealth of desirable features. Notable inclusions are a 15-speaker Burmester stereo system for an immersive audio experience, a wireless smartphone charging pad, in-dash navigation for convenient guidance, power front seats with heating functionality, automatic high-beam headlamps for enhanced visibility, as well as advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist.
For those seeking a step-up in performance and all-wheel drive capability, the EQE350 is available at a slightly higher price of $79,050. This variant offers a compelling blend of power and versatility, catering to a broader range of driving preferences.
At the top end of the spectrum, the EQE500 stands as the pinnacle of the lineup. Priced at $87,050, this trim elevates the performance capabilities of the EQE with dual motors and all-wheel drive, delivering an impressive driving experience.
Considering the options available, I would recommend sticking with the entry-level EQE350+ trim, which I personally tested. With its generous array of features and competitive pricing, it presents an excellent value proposition for those entering the electric luxury SUV market.
The exterior design of the EQE SUV showcases a departure from the elongated and stretched form found in its sedan counterparts. Instead, it presents a lower profile, reduced by 4.4 inches, and a more rounded silhouette compared to the conventionally powered GLE model.
Despite being 2.4 inches shorter in length, the EQE SUV maintains a similar width, striking a harmonious balance. The overall shape of the EQE SUV takes on an egglike form, which, combined with its smooth underbody, contributes to an impressive drag coefficient of 0.25. While it may not be conventionally styled, it is no more unconventional than its BMW counterpart, the iX, which offers a unique take on the modern SUV concept.
As I had the opportunity to observe the new 2023 EQE 350 SUV, I couldn't help but notice its striking resemblance to its larger sibling, the EQE. This familial resemblance is particularly evident in the front face, where the design cues are carried over almost identically.
The bold and glossy black grille, adorned with an integrated LED bar, serves as a defining element of its visual signature. Moving along the sides, the distinctions become more pronounced.
Similar to the EQS and EQE models, the front cover does not open, except for maintenance purposes. Instead, a hatch discreetly sits on the left front fender, allowing easy access to top up the windscreen washer fluid. These subtle design choices contribute to the overall sleek and streamlined appearance of the EQE SUV, further emphasizing its modern and forward-thinking nature.
Stepping inside the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350, one is greeted by an interior that seamlessly carries the design language from its EQE and EQS counterparts. The passenger compartment exudes elegance, combining tasteful design with high-quality materials. Notably, the EQE prioritizes passenger comfort and convenience, providing ample space for occupants and clever cubby storage solutions.
At the center of attention is the freestanding central screen, accompanied by a separate digital instrument cluster, offering intuitive access to the vehicle's various functions and infotainment features. However, for those seeking an even more futuristic ambiance, the optional Hyperscreen transforms the entire dashboard into a striking glass panel adorned with multiple digital displays, elevating the overall aesthetic to new heights.
Despite the EQE's wheelbase being 3.5 inches shorter than its sedan counterpart, rear-seat space remains generous. Passengers will enjoy ample legroom and knee clearance, aided by the flat floor that makes the middle seat position quite comfortable. However, due to the EQE's rounded form, cargo space takes a hit, with 14 cubic feet available behind the rear seats—significantly less than the GLE's 33 cubic feet. Folding the seats expands the total volume to 55 cubic feet, offering versatility for larger items.
While the GLE offers an optional third-row seat, it's important to note that the EQE SUV is strictly a five-seater, focusing on providing spacious comfort for its occupants rather than accommodating additional passengers. The interior of the EQE harmonizes contemporary design, premium materials, and thoughtful spatial arrangements, creating a captivating and accommodating cabin experience.
Range and Charging
The EPA-estimated range of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350+ is 300 miles. It has a 90.6-kWh battery pack that can be charged from 10 to 100 percent in 9.5 hours using a 240-volt Level 2 charger. It can also be charged using a DC fast charger, which can add up to 100 miles of range in just 15 minutes.
The 350+ is powered by a single electric motor that produces 288 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The 350+ gets an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe in the city and 96 MPGe on the highway.
The 2023 Mercedes EQE 350 SUV delivers a dynamic driving experience, combining impressive traction and controlled body movements. Thanks to its all-wheel drive system, the SUV effortlessly maintains impeccable traction, while the large battery positioned in the floor lowers the center of gravity, enhancing stability. Notably, the optional rear-wheel steering system shines at reduced speeds, granting the spacious SUV a remarkably small turning radius, comparable to that of a Class A vehicle.
The EQE SUV's power delivery is easily harnessed, showcasing its agility and composure despite its size and weight. Equipped with a four-link front axle and a multi-link rear axle, the chassis strikes a fine balance between nimbleness and comfort. Two optional features, air suspension and rear-wheel steering, provide valuable assistance, further enhancing the SUV's capabilities. These options are worth considering to fully exploit the potential of the EQE's driving dynamics.
While the driving experience exudes luxury and refinement, it is not entirely flawless. The steering lacks some feedback, and in tight corners, the thick windshield pillar hampers three-quarter front visibility. The brake pedal feel is also somewhat artificial, varying depending on the intensity of braking and the selected regeneration mode.
However, the EQE SUV remains efficient and offers a pleasant driving position. It introduces interesting regeneration modes, accessible via the steering wheel paddles. In freewheel mode, the vehicle decouples the rear motor, providing a sensation of floating on the road, delivering a smooth and enjoyable ride. The assisted regeneration mode proves highly effective in congested traffic, as the SUV optimizes regeneration by closely following the vehicle in front. When combined with the assisted driving capabilities, the EQE SUV is capable of almost autonomous driving in such conditions.
In summary, the 2023 Mercedes EQE 350 SUV delivers a dynamic driving experience with its impressive traction, contained body movements, and agile nature. While there are some minor drawbacks such as the steering feel and visibility limitations, the vehicle's efficiency, pleasant driving position, and innovative regeneration modes contribute to an overall enjoyable driving experience.
My personal verdict on the 2023 Mercedes EQE 350 SUV is a positive one, as it impresses with its impeccable presentation and luxurious finish. From the moment you lay eyes on this vehicle, you can appreciate the attention to detail and the high-quality materials that adorn the interior. The combination of elegant design and rich finishes creates an inviting and upscale atmosphere that surpasses expectations.
In terms of comfort and technology, the EQE 350 SUV excels. The seats offer excellent support and cushioning, ensuring a comfortable ride even during long journeys. The cabin is also remarkably quiet, providing a serene environment for both the driver and passengers.
The technology features are equally noteworthy. The infotainment system is intuitive and user-friendly, with a freestanding central screen that offers clear visibility and convenient access to various functions. The inclusion of a separate digital instrument cluster enhances the overall driving experience, providing essential information in a clear and easily readable manner.
The EQE 350 SUV's route planner is a standout feature. With advanced navigation capabilities, it assists in planning efficient routes, taking into account factors such as traffic conditions and charging station availability. This feature adds convenience and peace of mind, allowing for seamless navigation and maximizing the range of the electric vehicle.
The new Mercedes EQE SUV is the perfect example of the paradox that an electric SUV can offer today: a concentration of technologies, comfort and refinement.